For Israel this week, it was as if nothing had changed.
One week after an official U.S. National Intelligence Estimate effectively shrank to near zero the chances of a Bush administration military strike against Iran’s nuclear facilities — or President Bush’s support for an Israeli strike — Israel continued to talk up its feasibility.
Tuesday, November 10th, 2009
(Here’s a press release for the great Debbie Friedman and an honorable cause. — JM)
“DEBBIE & FRIENDS:” CONCERT TO BENEFIT HUC-JIR AND ITS SCHOOL OF SACRED MUSIC
- Launching of National Cantorial Scholarship Initiative
Sunday, November 8th, 2009
After all the pre-convention hoopla, the Jewish Federations of North America (“No acronyms, please,” said a press spokesman for the group formerly known as UJC), President Barack Obama won’t be addressing the group on Tuesday, after all.
Instead, Obama will be traveling to the memorial service for the Fort Hood army base massacre victims, and sending White House chief of staff Rahm Emmanuel to the Jewish philanthropy’s meeting in his place.
Many of us are convinced that language has been a weapon of mass destruction during Israel’s four years of war. But wait a second –– what’s the name of that war, anyway? Israelis can’t figure it out. For a while HaMatzav, or the situation, was the Hebrew euphemism of choice. Last month, the Jerusalem Post actually ran a name-that-war item, with the headline, “rename the intifada,” indicating that even the J-Post editors couldn’t think of an English or Hebrew word that matched the perfect branding of the Arabic word.
A public opinion pollster is interviewing people on the street. He stops four people and asks, “Excuse me, what is your opinion of the meat shortage?” A Russian says, “What is opinion?” A Pole says, “What is meat?” An American says, “What is shortage?” An Israeli says, “What is ‘excuse me’?” My first time in Israel was an education. But not in the way I had anticipated.
The new top leadership team of the embattled World Jewish Congress will head to Eastern Europe soon to re-energize stalled negotiations over Holocaust-era restitution payments, Michael Schneider, the group’s next secretary general, said this week.
The political discussions will represent a return by the WJC, perceived as rudderless in recent years, to the activity that cemented its reputation as a representative of Jewish interests.